Move on over!

January 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

Just a reminder to my spectacular email subscribers that you can now follow my latest adventures over at Head Plant Health; re-subscribe for new, improved inbox silliness and tasty health morsels! 

Thanks!! x

I’ve moved!!!

September 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

Hello hello loyal reader (s)!

Thank you to those who left me sweet comments while I was away; I took an extended break while I muddled through some changing health philosophies and opinions, and am happy to say I’m starting afresh at the bloggie address below!

Head Plant Health

Do stop by for tea, would love to have you!

Thanks to everyone who made Bonne Santé such a fun place to call my virtual home x

BANG! Back in the game.

May 4, 2011 § 16 Comments

Somebody pinch me, I feel like i’m in the midst of the most amazing dream! (sadly not involving a self-replenishing mini-bar full of coconuts).

I HAVE THE INTERNET BACK AT HQ! Sure, I’ve had my iPhone to receive emails and lurk on Facebook, but there really is nothing quite like stalking food blogs in giant high-defintion iMac glory. Two months without blogging capabilities has left me a broken, brittle husk of a girl with little direction or purpose in life… Meals just aren’t the same when they’re served hot; I prefer them luke-warm and mushy after 30 minutes of careful photography and garnish rearrangement!

But here I am, back for all your nutty naturopathic needs and non-educational entertainment!

Seeing as I didn’t expect to have internet again, ever, I don’t really have any relevant photos or meaningful topics to share with you this evening. To add to the wackniess, I just ate enough raw cacao to send the easter bunny into cardiac arrest. BZZZZZZZZ!

The gorgeous Paije from Veggie Monster tagged me about a century ago in a ’7 random things’ quiz, so I thought that would be awesome fodder for my first foray back into blogsville.

1. 

Say ‘Beer Can’. Say it again.

Now you’re saying ‘Bacon’ like a Jamaican!

2. This week I rode my bike to college 2 out of 3 days. ‘Ride’ is loosely defined as being mounted on the bicycle in forward motion at least 50% of the time. I think I just scraped through!

I also embraced shabby chic by wearing my daggiest sports gear, and bringing down the collective style of my class by about 100 points. Function trumps form!

I was completely inspired by the crazy Amanda of Me Vs the Bulge, who is a DEMON and started riding her bike a few months ago to work. It’s greener, and gets me a good 1.5 hours of exercise each day that would normally have been spent crammed in next to snotty school kids and cologne-covered businessmen on the bus. My thighs were weeping tears of lactic-acid by the end of day two, and I need to stop veering out randomly into the path of oncoming traffic but with a bit more practice I may just have found my new 2-wheeled obsession!

3.  This week I tried mixing chopped young coconut flesh into my buckwheat porridge. It was a win!

If you’re wondering, buckwheat is probably my favourite gluten-free pseudo-grain at the moment. It’s exceptionally easy to cook (1:2 ratio grains to water), incredibly versatile, and has off-the-charts nutritional value!

4.  A few weeks ago, my buddy at college and I decided it would be a fun experiment to drink a garlic cocktail every evening for it’s antioxidant and anti-microbial activity. Here are the ingredients:

The result?

Liquid death.

The idea was if we drank a superfood elixer of the most potent kind each night, somehow we would become superhuman disease-fighting maniacs within a week and live forever. Worked in theory; in reality I destroyed about 70% of all my tastebuds and acquired a sexy garlic scent that didn’t win me many friends. Food experiments are fun!

5. It’s hard to return to fending for yourself after an indulgent trip home to see family. Someone tuck me in at night, stat!

6. In Perth, my new friend Sarah took us to the most amazing raw vegan cafe ever. Sydney, lift your game! I don’t think there are any dedicated raw restaurants here, whats up with that?

Dear lord, this smoothie was out of control. Banana, cacao, ESPRESSO, almond milk, maca…pure unadulterated chocolatey bliss.

I had the raw pizza with some kind of mind-blowing carrot and coconut salad that I could never hope to replicate.

There was also raw flatbread, salad and mango salsa action.

I definitely recommend The Raw Kitchen in Fremantle if you’re ever on the West-side.

7. I’m currently eating homemade sauerkraut in front of my computer at 11pm.

Don’t act surprised; at least i’m not sucking on a big clove of garlic :)

So so so excited to resume normal programming now we have the sweet interwebs back up and running. I’ll have a post for you tomorrow about how I’m going after almost 3 months off the Pill and also some other naturopathic goodness.

Until then, peace, love and pickled cabbage to you all! xx

Relaxation 101.

April 26, 2011 § 10 Comments

It’s a rare moment when, in the midst of a day filled with such ordinary events as watching the sun rise, bike riding and time spent with family, you stop and realise, it’s a day to remember. It’s not often we preempt nostalgia, actively participating in the memory as it unfolds, but today is going straight to the bank.

We started early at 5am to attend the dawn ANZAC service. I am hardly patriotic and gung-ho wartime rhetoric makes me cringe, but the fact remains, hundreds of thousands of young people of countless nationalities have lost their lives in tragic, barbaric, and senseless conflict, a fact that is certainly worth remembering.

As the sun started to rise, it was a wee bit magical.

Walking back from the park, I got a bit snap-happy. Bear with the whimsical sky/tree shots.

Autumnal magic.

Top way to start the day!

Then we embarked on a cycling jaunt that may or may not have had a particular destination in mind…

Little Creatures brewery!

I don’t even drink beer, but this boutique aussie brewery is way too cool to pass up.

The whole trip from home to Fremantle and back is around 50kms! BAM. So proud of my pedal-pushin’ little thighs right now.

I’d love to say I rode side-saddle, gracefully gliding along on my vintage bicycle with poise and charm, like so:

The reality is a bit more grim.

Rocking the peace symbol, trying not to stack it.

CHEESE!! Audrey would be horrified.

The class doesn’t stop there. My riding ensemble featured a borrowed pair of cycling pants, complete with ultra butt-cushioning that made me feel like I was waddling around in an oversized adult nappy. My crotch was grateful 50kms later.

Mum and I sported Vibrams, of course. The five-fingered love of my life.

We stopped for some mid-morning refreshments and got up close and personal with a very inquisitive black swan.

You say cute, I say…

…KEEP AWAY FROM MY APPLE, BITCH!

This concludes todays presentation; have to start preparing for Ma’s birthday party which is TODAY! Happy Birthday to the raddest mother in the world <3

Have you had unexpectedly awesome, memorable days recently? Do share!

Status Report.

April 24, 2011 § 22 Comments

You know when you’re little and you break the family heirloom your great great grandmother squared made from toothpicks on her deathbed? My instincts were always to try and patch up the picasso-like pile of splinters as best I could, arrange my face into a bouquet of innocence, walk swiftly in the opposite direction and pretend it was all a bad dream.

Similarly, I am choosing today to skirt around the glaringly obvious issue of complete and utter blog absence over the past month. If I don’t apologise, there is no problem. Right?!

Unfortunately, I never filled you in on how the story ends. It ends with me running wildly back to the closest family member and, through impassioned snot and tears, regurgitating every detail of my guilt and offering an explanation so long said family member would have forgiven me by the time I came to my whimpering conclusion.

I’ll spare you the essay, but basically our internet modem broke and we’ve been chasing *unnamed service provider* ever since trying to arrange a replacement. When the net dies, my life takes a turn for the hermit. I’m actually blogging from the luxury of my mum’s internet right now (in Perth, waheyyy!!) but hopefully I’ll arrive home next week to a shiny new high speed modem. Vibrams crossed!

SO MUCH has happened in the past month or two. I’ve spent lunch breaks discussing buddhist philosophy, experimental nutrition and meditation with my eternally inspiring college buddies, evenings contemplating The Art of Happiness, and weeks riding a crazy raft of ch-ch-ch-chaaaange!

I’ll update you on the highlights whenever I have a spare 4 hours, but for now let’s embrace the present. Nothing like it!

I’m in the wonderful city of Perth, on the west-siiiiiiide. Dig it. I am so insanely grateful to have family here now and a subsequent excuse to invade at any given moment.

Mum and Andrew chewing up the catwalk, green bags in hand.

Speaking of grateful, mum and I were compiling a list of all the reasons we are insanely, monumentally lucky yesterday, after we had a huge whinge about various trivial, self-indulgent things that we later realised are, in essence, tripe. It’s a nice exercise to turn around a gloomy mood by listing all the reasons we are so incredibly happy and fortunate.

I’ll start :D

I’m pretty chuffed to have a functional face, limbs, spine, kidneys, liver, spleen. They all go pretty damn hard, and are fairly amazing if you ask me. 

I’m also stoked to be surrounded by fresh organic food and passionate foodies. The ability to rock up to a farmers market, survey the scene, paparazzi the produce and fondle the fruit makes me one happy kidney bean.

I may have violated the red onions, m’bad. THEY JUST LOOKED SO JUICY!

This also made me salivate. $5 bananas? Unheard of! Are you feeling me Aussie residents?!

I am thankful for an abundance of raw, organic garlic, which I have been crushing and chugging on a regular basis to keep me perky. And by perky, I obviously mean stinky like a bucket full of chunder. (Now THERE’S an under-utilized word. Chunder. Bring it back!)

Designer corn.

You know how I feel about sexy, leafy greens.

A pomegranate in its natural habitat. (Probably should explain that we were at a local market in Perth that has a kick-ass community garden with delicious fruity candies ripe for the picking).

Baby green-thumb.

A gorgeous man rocking out on the harpsichord.

Ma is thankful for double shot espresso. My adrenal glands are thankful that I never cultivated the habit.




Lucky to have delicious fresh ingredients on hand to whip up tantalising vegan fare. Quinoa, kidney-bean, veggie, seaweed and tomato stew? I think so.

So extraordinarily lucky to have been taken on my yearly shopping outing with mum today. Material possessions in no way support happiness, but they can sure as heck make you smile! Especially when you score an amazing Lululemon hoodie complete with ruffles and thumb holes. I think I’ve written with zest before about my love affair with Lululemon, not only for their quirky, flattering sportswear, but also because their entire business philosophy is aimed at supporting the goals and aspirations of their staff, and treating their clientele with unheard-of courtesy and warmth. It’s love :)

Other things making the thankful list included:

  • Having a kick-ass family who love and support me through thick and thin, and veganism :)
  • First-world living standards.
  • Freedom (of speech, sexuality, career, education… to be a ranga sans persecution!)
  • Vibrams.
  • Dates (both the dried fruit, and the sexy dinnertime variety).
  • Comprehension, cognitive function.
  • Heston Blumenthal.
Quite a comprehensive list, in my opinion. What are you thankful for on this glorious holiday?
Profuse and heartfelt apologies for the absence. Hope to spice up the old blog soon!

A foodie fiesta.

March 15, 2011 § 9 Comments

Greetings!

Hope you’re all kicking it health-warrior style.

I’ve been feeling quite deflated, listless and sad to my soul as the horrific events in Japan continue to unfold.

As President Obama put it in a recent address, it is utterly heartbreaking to contemplate the scale of destruction and loss of life (both human, and critter) that has resulted from yet another natural disaster. I feel sick. Unsettled. What happens to them happens to all of us, because despite those imaginary borders we create with language (country, nation, race) we are ultimately one. Made of the same stuff, tied to the same earth.

I cannot fathom how people cope with such events, but I send my thoughts anyway.

**************************************************************************

Over the weekend my friends from college and I got together to revel in our mutual lust for tasty food and culinary experimentation. I thought I’d share some pictures with you, and encourage you all to consider having your closest buddies around to bond over dinner; there is something special about dinner parties that cannot be recreated at a restaurant or club. And you might just snag an awesome recipe or two to add your repertoire!

We congregated at the completely charming abode of Jack, then enigmatic face behind The Batchelor Blog and proceeded to stuff ourselves silly.

I was a little late to the party, and was presented with this plate full of love on arrival. Pre-plated entrée? I can deal.

There are a number of different cultural influences in our class and so the three course meal contained a medley of mouth-blowing flavours and textures. Two Japanese girls made the most amazing sticky rice and seaweed condiments I have ever tasted, and there were homemade dips, german crackers, greek lentils and italian goodies galore!

Jack made an amazing ginger ale by reducing some fresh ginger and honey in a pot, adding some fizz and fresh mint for good measure! Zzzzzzzing!

Kitchen full of wannabe chefs.

Goofing around on the dimly-lit stairs.

My contribution: raw zucchini & carrot noodles with a delicious asian dressing from Gina at Choosing Raw.

Also, raw banana pie for dessert!

I layered some delectable honey-roasted almond butter on the bottom of the crock and then used some banana soft-serve as the filling.

Process 2-3 frozen bananas until creamy, and add in some extra nut butter, cinnamon and honey if your sweet tooth desires. Freeze. Get your saliva on.

This house is FILLED with character.

Posting your laundry on the interwebs, soz Jack.

Our Italian connection Alessandra, made this insanely fresh and flavourful pasta dish with broccoli, garlic and chili that is not done justice by the crummy photo.

And the grand finale! Flourless orange and almond cake. Holy Bethlehem, this was incredible.


Such a tasty evening. Thankyou, friends!

Your guide to the sugary axis of evil.

March 11, 2011 § 19 Comments

Well hello there!

Hope you’re enjoying this magnificent Friday! It’s my one day off from both college & work, so I am smushing as much as humanly possible into the waking hours. It’s glorious to have a whole day to fawn over food, stare at the sea and open random chapters in my nutrition textbook that look vaguely interesting. Not exactly efficient study, but the book and my eyes are simultaneously open so that’s a win, right?

You know what else fat-ass nutrition books are good for?

Strength training!

I am officially too cheap to fork out my spare change for a gym visit, so I’ve taken to creative strength-training in the comfort of my lounge room! Nothing will ever replace a gym sesh, and I dearly miss sweating, grimacing and grunting in front of an audience of buffcore dudes… However textbook squats, armchair leg-curls (releasing & retracting the recliner foot-rest) and early morning sit-ups (hauling ass out of bed) are meeting my extensive body-building needs nicely.

Moving on from my rippling biceps, I thought i’d stun two birds with one stone (no animals were killed in the making of this cliché) and write a post on sugars and artificial sweeteners that may also help me cement it in my tiny walnut brain!

Y’all already know my opinion on artificial anything. If it’s powdered, processed or packaged, it probably won’t vibe with your insides. Your body doesn’t recognise number 950 or colour 245 or white powdery flour, so it will either react, store it in some unpleasant way or alter its physiological function to cope.

Real food

Often, artificial sweeteners cause the body to respond in ways that oppose our original intention. You may buy a diet soda with zero sugar to save on calories, but because your body is receiving a substance without an energy pay-off you may end up eating more later to ‘compensate’. Not to mention many artificial sweeteners have a questionable safety status. If something is a potential neurotoxin and causes rats to grow ears on their toes, I sure as hell don’t want anything to do with it. No thank you, huge-junk-food-corporations-who-are-funding-their-own-scientific-studies. No. Thank. You.

Axis of evil board of directors:

  • Aspartame (number 951)

Aspartame is made through the combination of two amino acids, Phenylalanine and Aspartic acid, with methanol. It is commonly used to sweeten drinks, desserts, chewing gum, cookies and bakery goods. Nutra-Sweet and Equal are brand names for Aspartame. It has around 4kcal/g which is the same as sucrose, however it is 180-200 sweeter and thus less needs to be used. From the website of Dr. Mercola, “Aspartame accounts for over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA. Many of these reactions are very serious including seizures and death.” Mmmmm tasty. People with PKU (a genetic disorder in which individuals cannot metabolise Phenylalanine) must also avoid this sweetener, and the rest of us would be wise to as well. Studies have linked it’s consumption even at ‘safe intakes’ to an increase in incidence in lymphomas and leukaemias in rats, not to mention the fact that when combined in the small intestine with the enzyme chymotrypsin, methanol is released and breaks down into formaldehyde (that’s a neurotoxin FYI!). I could go on, but I think you’re getting the idea.

More real food!

  • Acesulphame-K (number 950)

Also known as Sweet ‘n Safe (how benign) and is 150-200 times sweeter than sugar. It is usually combined with Aspartame to give a more palatable flavour and contributes no calories as it is not digested by the body. It the U.S, it is approved for use in yoghurts, chewing gums, gelatins, drink mixers, puddings, baked goods, candy, lozengers etc. Concerns have been raised about it’s status as a possible carcinogen (linked with lung and breast cancer especially) and negative effects on cholesterol levels. This was a nice little tid-bit of information I found; “To add to the supposed Acesulfame potassium dangers, its manufacture consists of several substances and one of them is Methylene chloride. This very agent is employed in industries as paint stripper and as a de-greaser or propellant agent.” Doesn’t that just make you want to throw back a cold diet bevvo?

  • Cyclamate (number 952)

It is 30-50 times sweeter than sugar, but is often used synergistically with other sweeteners for a more appealing flavour. Regularly used in cordials and soft-drinks, it is currently banned for use in the US (but 55 other countries still approve it as an additive). Studies linked it’s consumption to increased risk of bladder cancer in rats, however an appeal has been lodged by manufacturers to lift the ban as they have been unable to reproduce the negative effects in subsequent trials. Funny that.

My kinda schweet

  • Saccharin (number 954)

Saccharin, also known as Sweet and Low, is the oldest alternative sweetener and is approximately 300 times sweeter than sucrose. It is made from crude oil (are you drooling?) and has similar properties and effects to Cyclamate (which is banned, remember?). Studies have also linked it to an increased risk of bladder cancer, yet they were later labeled ‘weak’ and ‘inconclusive’. Inconclusive does not buy my trust, paid-off pseudo-scientists! It is generally used as a table-top sweetener as is becomes bitter through heating.

  • Sucralose (number 955)

Sucralose is what we know as Splenda, and is over 600 times sweeter than sucrose! You’ll find it in all the usual suspects; drinks, chewing gum, jams, frozen dairy desserts, sauces and syrups. It is at least based upon a recognisable substance (sugar which has been chlorinated) however it has possible implications for the thymus and many believe it has not been adequately researched as it is seen as more ‘natural’. I found this about it’s absorption in the body; “The absorbed sucralose has been found to concentrate in the liver, kidney, and gastrointestinal tract. According to The Sucralose Toxicity Information Center, sucralose is broken down “into small amounts of 1,6-dichlorofructose, a chemical which has not been adequately tested in humans.” A big fat hmmmmm.


I’m going to leave it at that today, as these are the main baddies in that big mouth-puckeringly sweet charade. That, and my font has gone bananas and I can’t fix it. Yikes.

I’d be interested to hear how many people knew about these sweeteners and their implications, as I sure as hell didn’t realise the extent of their collective eeeevil before studying it in nutrition.

Au revoir for now!

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